From The City to
It's been over a year since we moved out of central London to somewhat embrace the country lifestyle and it's been a huge learning curve. From unexpected worries to the anticipated joys and from taking a while to adjust to certain aspects to throwing ourselves fully into others - it's simply been amazing.
We spent a very long time thinking about moving before we actually took the plunge and I'm so glad that we waited until we did, because the timing was exactly right for both of us and we knew it.
I'd say one of the most asked questions from month to month over in my Instagram DMs and even directly via email occasionally, is how we both knew the time was right to leave London and if we've ever regretted moving from the city to the countryside.
I'd say there's been elements of every emotion possible that naturally come with any big life event, especially when we also decided to plan a wedding in France at exactly the same time (why would we do that?! haha) but there's certainly been a real mix of feelings that I'd love to share, along with the best bits of course.
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Similarly to when we made the leap to leave Manchester and move to London around 6 years ago, there was so much research and what ifs to chat about, before we even considered that the time may be right for us to move. On both occasions, between working out if we could do without our current support systems, what it would mean for our careers, if we were financially able to, the pros and cons of certain areas and so much more - it took months of debating and list making. In the end, just like when our move to London originally happened, our thoughts and feelings aligned and we simply knew that the time had arrived to not only have the ability to move but to want to make a move too. From our bustling home in the city in a cramped but perfect apartment, to our first ever step on the property ladder in a more rural and quiet area, to what is simply our dream home. Leaving the city was one of the best decisions we made but one thing you need to know if you've also lived in a city for years and years, is that we still miss London so much.
For us the time was just right. We felt we had naturally outgrown our apartment, had started to grow tired of the fast paced lifestyle and gradually felt we were in a financially comfortable position to buy our first home. I think the first thing anyone should know when thinking about moving from a busy central location to a slower paced area though, is that it isn't for everyone. There are times when Alex and I have looked at each other and exclaimed how much we miss being able to have so many of our favourite foods delivered, how we wished we could just decide at the drop of a hat to head to one of our favourite London restaurants or bars and how if we wanted to see friends (outside of lockdown restrictions of course) that the journey is now so much longer than it used to be. For some the ease, lifestyle and accessibility of being in London will be a huge priority and for many years it was also ours, so it's most definitely a case by case basis as to how important those links truly are for you right now.
Another thing I think I'd love to be able to tell the me of 18 months ago, is that we 100% made the right decision by moving, despite the stress and worry of it all. For example having a support system of loved ones has always been high on my list of priorities, so one of my big concerns was the impact our move would have on my mental health and if being physically distant from people (again without knowing Covid was rounding the corner in 2020 - oh how little our 2019 selves knew) would be something I could comfortably deal with. It in fact turns out, that the loss of those close connections in London has been replaced by knowing that our friends and family have the space to come and stay with us with their children, pets and everything in-between, something that was impossible for us to have accommodated in London. Yes it's a much difference lifestyle but one I now know is right for this stage in our lives.
With any big life move or event, I think it's important that you also give yourself the benefit of the doubt. There's no set timeline you need to adhere to, nor is there a set way of doing things either - you do you. Alex and I were some of the last people in our friendship groups to get onto the property ladder and move away from city living but even if we still hadn't gone from renting to buying, or we'd stayed in the city centre, it's because each and every persons situation is so very unique. We are so privileged to have been able to buy a home together, something we never would have personally been financially able to do in London and trusting our instincts were right, was a huge part of finding our first home. I'm a naturally cautious individual when it comes to both financial and career decisions, so planning a wedding and buying a house within the same year meant spreadsheets galore to keep on top of things, as well as leaning on people far more knowledgeable than the both of us admit we could ever be about certain topics. The combination of letting ourselves listen to our instincts, as well as allowing professionals to take certain reigns from us, gave us the confidence we needed in our move. What you really need to know about moving from the city to the countryside, is that you know yourself and your life goals best - trust that you'll do what's best for your family, no matter what family looks like for you.
And as for the learning curve of living in a much quieter area? You'll probably be surprised to know that neither of us slept properly for weeks, as it was so quiet in comparison to the hustle and bustle of London that we sometimes missed the lullaby of sirens outside our windows haha! There was definitely a sense of imposter syndrome too, but I find that with any life move I have a sense of that and I know quite a few of you have told me you have too. Alex and I almost felt like we were intruding on a lifestyle that wasn't ours for so long, (a friend once said they felt like they were playing house which is so true!) but in the end it was just a process to sit in our decision and really appreciate our next step together. Leaving the city for the countryside is such a big decision if city life is all that you've known for over a decade, but what you'll never know until you do it, is how honestly incredible it is if you're thinking about doing it. Even after almost 18 months in our home I find myself sitting in silence and appreciating those moments, listening intently to the birds outside our bedroom windows each morning, having the space to make this house our perfect home, searching for the wildlife that often visits our garden and more recently taking Boe on his very first walks through local parks and fields. It's our dream come true to have moved from London to Frowhome - what's yours?
I'd love to know if you're thinking about making the move from a busy city into the countryside, or perhaps you're going the opposite way from the quieter countryside into the city? Or maybe you've already found your dream place and you have some advice to share below? What's the one thing you'd want your past or future self to know about your big move? I hope you liked this chatty post on our move to Frowhome, it's a topic I've wanted to share for a while and if you have any questions as always let me know below!
This entire look was shot as part of an Instagram advertorial but was too lovely with sweet Boe not to share here on the blog too! If you'd like to see more of my favourite Holland Cooper pieces and some more pictures of Boe (because who wouldn't?!) then you can head here. And if you'd like to see more of Boe's gorgeous lead and collar you can find the small business that created them here.